Thursday, July 09, 2015

Oops, I did It Again...


A photo from just now when I let the girls go play in the rain with popsicles... 

You guys, my back... my freaking back!  It went out again.  But 'out' I mean it feels like I re-herniated the disk or perhaps herniated a new one.  I'm not sure how this is possible as I was on the up and up since last November when it really went out, but oi... thankfully it's not quite as bad, but it's definitely not good.  Super sore, shooting pains through my legs, can't bend over or pick up the baby.  Can't do much of anything really... Last time I went to a spine doc and he recommended spinal shots (cortisone) but by the time insurance came through I was feeling mostly better.  That being said it's been on and off since November.

So can we talk about back pain today--serious back pain?  Have you had a herniated disk?  If so did it heal on it's own--apparently this is usually the case. Or did you need some help like spinal injections, or therapy? Did you need back surgery?  I really don't want to go this route, but I did not expect to have this happen again! I was told that for the most part these things heal on their own and it just takes time. Therapy and yoga were also recommended and I've been doing yoga religiously since November and have replaced other more strenuous cardio workouts with walking.  In short I've been very careful with my back, but also exercising and building core strength as well.  I am definitely open to more traditional medical routes as this is a really debilitating condition to have especially with young children.  I'd love to hear your thoughts--can we please keep it positive and hopeful tho?

XO,
Migs

15 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:16 PM

    I can keep it positive! I had serious back issues after my 1st was born and since she was only 3 weeks at the time and I was nursing, I couldn't take any strong pain meds. I lived in extreme pain for a long time. I worked on the issue (a slipped disc) through pilates and PT. I didn't do any medical procedures beyond PT. It came back once or two over the next year or two, which was really hard for me to accept. I felt like it was something I'd never be free of. I felt like I was always making decisions of what I could or couldn't do based on my back. I just recently I was realizing that I rarely worry about my back these days. Ok, it's several years later, but still...I can lift heavy things, I can bend down, I can sleep on "bad" beds - all without worrying about my back. So, all this to say I think you are doing the right things and don't lose hope. I know how difficult it in the moment, believe me. It was so hard and depressing at the time. But, this won't rule your life forever.

    Suzanne

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  2. So good to hear Suzanne! I've definitely had pain on and off since this first occurred in November, but I didn't expect another set back like this. Good to hear you can still make a full recovery! Thank you! And yes I totally relate--the past year I've made TONS of decisions revolving around my back. Even when it's been fine....crazy how one thing can dominate your life.

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  3. When my daughter was only a year old, I had five discs herniate or rupture. I had no surgeries or shots, but did physical therapy with spinal decompression. The spinal decompression helped tremendously, so I got an inversion table to use at home. I now get monthly massages. It has been two years, but I have no pain and full range of motion (I never thought I'd have that again without pain!) I am always careful to lift correctly, but I lift and carry my three year old all the time. I feel like my back will always be a consideration, but I am able to do everything I want to do and have a great excuse not to do any heavy lifting!

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  4. I don't know what I did to my back, but ever since pregnancy it's very easy for it to start hurting, some times more than others. I've found that spin class helps tremendously because I'm bent over and building that lower back strength. It's a preventative, though, not a treatment. If I miss more than two weeks of classes I'm usually paying for it. I use ice in that case. And any help offered by friends or family. And lots of prayers!

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  5. I don't know what I did to my back, but ever since pregnancy it's very easy for it to start hurting, some times more than others. I've found that spin class helps tremendously because I'm bent over and building that lower back strength. It's a preventative, though, not a treatment. If I miss more than two weeks of classes I'm usually paying for it. I use ice in that case. And any help offered by friends or family. And lots of prayers!

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  6. Alexis10:57 PM

    My two humble suggestions: (1) a very firm mattress; and (2) acupuncture. I was not a believer in the latter until I tried it and it has been so helpful for my back! A good acupuncture practitioner will provide other lifestyle suggestions that will be more detailed and tailored to you than what a doctor likely has time to discuss with you. Also, with all the caveats of not knowing your specific case/doctor/preferences/etc, I would put in my two cents to say that I would try to avoid back surgery for as long as possible. Back surgery is a pretty inexact treatment option, it has some real risks, and, perhaps most practically speaking, has relatively low success rates for reducing pain. I'm from a family of doctors, so I'm definitely not whole-cloth against surgery or medical intervention; backs in particular are just pretty dicey when it comes to surgery.

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    1. Alexis--1--Oh boy...we love our somewhat soft mattress...sigh. Not sure I can convince the hubby to change that. Or myself really. Unless I KNEW that was the problem. 2) Totally open to that! Right now I am going to pursue physical therapy and a cortizone shot for the pain.

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  7. Anonymous9:33 AM

    YES! Did it in March and WHOA! It felt like I was in labor--for WEEKS and without the cool prize at the end! I herniated a disc and it was pressing on my spinal nerve. Pain in my legs was SO bad I couldn't walk. I was scheduled for an injection but the pain meds were working enough that I did not want to go that route unless absolutely necessary. Oral steriods did NOTHING and the tramadol made me vomit so I had something called Etodolac which is basically a high powered Advil. It worked enough for me to function. Took a good 6 weeks but it did heal (knock on wood). I was told it would most likely re-occur and do do what I could to strengthen my core. I live in FEAR of that kind of pain again!!!

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  8. I love Alexis' suggestions and wholeheartedly agree with all of them while adding good chiropractic care. Find a good chiropractor you can really trust and believe in and it makes all the difference in the world.

    Double check the side effects of cortisone shots...they can actually cause increased arthritis at the injection site as you age.

    Best of health to you.

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  9. I love Alexis' suggestions and wholeheartedly agree with all of them while adding good chiropractic care. Find a good chiropractor you can really trust and believe in and it makes all the difference in the world.

    Double check the side effects of cortisone shots...they can actually cause increased arthritis at the injection site as you age.

    Best of health to you.

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  10. I have multiple issues going on with my spine, osteoarthritis from bad posture and a hideously fitted bra prior to my breast reduction, Ehler-Danos Syndrome (hypermobility only it seems) and Fibromyalgia. Nothing fully relieves the pain, but chiropractic care is extremely helpful as is frequent massage. I actually joined a national gym just for the water massage table, and use it most days.

    With the osteoarthritis and EDS, steroid injections are not allowed. They do far too much harm, plus EDS means they aren't effective really.

    Try a back support band also, if your doctor is ok with it. You can become overly dependant on them, but my back riots without so I started with one. I still have to be careful with lifting and moving, but I can lift 20 pounds now easily when I could barely lift 5 before.

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  11. Definitely acupuncture! Gosh, I have a reallyyyyy long story but I'll just cut it down and say: I know acupuncture seems ridiculous for back pain/disc problems.....but give it a go!!

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  12. Late reply, I'm not caught up on blogs yet! I had to have spinal surgery on my back for two herniated discs when I was 10 weeks pregnant with Briella. My nerves were compressed and any other treatment option was not the safest for the baby (or did not have enough proof that it would help the excruciating pain I was in, I couldn't even walk). Surgery did pretty much fix the problem, but nerve injuries rarely recover fully so I'm still weaker on that side, and have more muscle spasms/fatigue etc. I don't regret having the surgery, if it wasn't for that I would have missed my brother's wedding which was a 15+ hour flight away!

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  13. I was born with a capillary tumor in my lumbar/sacral region. It ruptured when I was 18 while swinging a golf club. After 4 years of throwing out my back every few months, I had surgery to cauterize the tumor. You'd think that would have solved the problem. It didn't. While it was better, I still would throw out my back every year. I finally went to see a chiropractor that does traction and acupuncture. Best decision ever! He uses traction to properly position the spine. I had been holding myself in a twisted manner and would get killer headaches all the time. It's been almost a year and I haven't had a headache and my lower back feels great! I'm still mindful of how I turn, lift etc. but I don't have "that feeling" in my lower back anymore. He also recommended decreasing grains in my diet as they can cause inflammation. I rarely eats grains so that might be a component as well. I also agree with the person that recommended a firm mattress. I do hope you find a solution!

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  14. Molly1:26 PM

    I have had back issues since high school. I had two rounds of cortisone epidurals in college. They helped immensely and left me pain free for the first time in years. The only issue I had (and this happens in less than .1% of cases, go me) was that the steroid went systemic, and I had the typical steroid issues (stacked cheeks, acne, increased appetite, weight gain) for a few months. I wasn't able to have shots again after knowing how my body reacted. I like good, well trained chiropractors though I will never let them adjust my neck. I had to stop the athletic activities that led to my back injuries in the first place, and while I am sore occasionally, my back is no longer a huge issue. I also think I was diagnosed with bulging discs. Find a REALLY good physical therapist/orthopedist. They changed my life.

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